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AHIS3201 – Women and Gender in the Ancient World

2022 – Session 1, Online-flexible

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Peter Keegan
Ginger-Rose Harrington
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
130cp at 1000 level and above or 20cp in AHIS or AHST units at 2000 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit is a study of sexuality and gender in the Egyptian, Near Eastern and Ancient Mediterranean worlds, but with special emphasis on Ancient Greek and Roman society. It also looks at the convergence of classical traditions and Judaeo-Christian thought in late antique Rome. The unit draws upon the contributions of women's history and feminist scholarship to the study of antiquity, paying particular attention to the role of historiography in understanding past worlds.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the evidence relating to the life experiences of women and concepts of gender in the ancient world;
  • ULO2: Evaluate ancient source material and modern interpretations of that material at an advanced level;
  • ULO3: Formulate arguments, express ideas and respond to the views of staff and peers in both oral and written form at an advanced level;
  • ULO4: Appreciate historiographical theories and how historical information (in the broadest sense) may be extracted from ancient texts and archaeological remains.

General Assessment Information

1. SOURCE ANALYSIS 

Topics for discussion and written assignment are set out under each week on the unit's iLearn site. ONE written assignment is to be submitted via Turnitin for assessment on the FRIDAY after the relevant tutorial by 11.59 pm. It will count for 20% of the final mark. (Preparation for each tutorial, however, is advised, since your digestion of the material covered in seminars will be relevant to your podcast preparation, including the topics in the latter part of the unit).

The appropriate length of seminar papers will be approximately 1000 words (plus or minus 10%). The paper must be documented and based on a direct examination of the ancient sources. If modern scholarship is used, a bibliography should be attached. Please note that footnotes and bibliography do not count in the word length for this unit.

2. PODCAST 

One podcast, counting for 40% of the final mark, is required. It should not exceed seven (7) minutes in length. Your podcast should be uploaded no later than FRIDAY APRIL 29th by 11.59pm. Topics will be available early in the session. Please note that you will be using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of digital tools to create your podcast (specifically, Adobe Audition). If you are planning to present your podcast in the field of Roman or Early Christian studies (which may not have been covered in lectures) should consult the appropriate pre-recorded lectures and/or the unit convenor. (To authenticate the academic integrity of this task, a verbatim script of your podcast will be uploaded to Turnitin by the due date and time, as noted above.) 

To reiterate, a marker will be assessing:

(i) the degree to which you answer the question(s) set (within the word limit);

(ii) the degree to which you refer to the ancient evidence in support of your arguments and;

(iii) the clarity of your presentation.

Marking rubrics and guidelines for podcasting will also be provided on the iLearn site.

A marker shall be assessing:

(i) the degree to which you answer the question(s) set (within the word limit);

(ii) the degree to which you cite the ancient evidence in support of your arguments; and

(iii) the clarity of your presentation.

Marking rubrics and guidelines for referencing will also be provided on the iLearn site.

3. BLOG 

One blog, counting for 40% of the final mark, is required. It should not exceed 2000 words. Your blog ishould be uploaded no later than FRIDAY JUNE 3rd  by 11.59pm. Topics will be precirculated early in the session. Please note that you will be using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of digital tools to create your blog (specifically, Adobe Portfolio). You should consult widely across the content of the unit in order to create your blog. (To authenticate the academic integrity of this task, a verbatim script of your blog will be uploaded to Turnitin by the due date and time, as noted above.)

To reiterate, a marker will be assessing:

(i) the degree to which you answer the chosen topic (within the word limit);

(ii) the degree to which you cite the ancient evidence in support of your arguments and;

(iii) the clarity of your presentation.

Marking rubrics and guidelines for referencing will also be provided on the iLearn site.

LATE SUBMISSION OF ASSESSMENT

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Source Analysis 20% No Friday after the relevant tutorial, by 11.59pm
Podcast 40% No 23:59 29/04/2022
Blog 40% No 23:59 3/06/2022

Source Analysis

Assessment Type 1: Qualitative analysis task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Friday after the relevant tutorial, by 11.59pm
Weighting: 20%

 

This task asks you to extract and analyse information relevant to the experience of a woman (or women) in a particular ancient society and/or concepts of gender and sexuality in antiquity. A marking rubric, task outline, and word limit will be available on the unit homepage. Submission: Turnitin Assignment.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the evidence relating to the life experiences of women and concepts of gender in the ancient world;
  • Evaluate ancient source material and modern interpretations of that material at an advanced level;
  • Formulate arguments, express ideas and respond to the views of staff and peers in both oral and written form at an advanced level;
  • Appreciate historiographical theories and how historical information (in the broadest sense) may be extracted from ancient texts and archaeological remains.

Podcast

Assessment Type 1: Media presentation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 41.5 hours
Due: 23:59 29/04/2022
Weighting: 40%

 

This task asks you to focus on a particular ancient author, literary genre or form of archaeological evidence. You will extract and analyse information relevant to the place of women in a particular ancient society and/or concepts of gender and sexuality in antiquity. A marking rubric, task outline, and time/word limit will be available on the unit homepage. Submission: Adobe Creative Cloud. (You will receive instruction in creating your podcast during Week 4 of the teaching session.)

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the evidence relating to the life experiences of women and concepts of gender in the ancient world;
  • Evaluate ancient source material and modern interpretations of that material at an advanced level;
  • Formulate arguments, express ideas and respond to the views of staff and peers in both oral and written form at an advanced level;
  • Appreciate historiographical theories and how historical information (in the broadest sense) may be extracted from ancient texts and archaeological remains.

Blog

Assessment Type 1: Non-academic writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 41.5 hours
Due: 23:59 3/06/2022
Weighting: 40%

 

This task gives you an opportunity to clarify your thinking about the material covered throughout the unit, and, in accordance with the study of history and archaeology at an advanced undergraduate level, your appreciation of historiographical theories. A marking rubric, task outline, and word limit will be available on the unit homepage. Submission: Adobe Creative Cloud. (You will receive instruction in creating your blog during Week 11 of the teaching session.)

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the evidence relating to the life experiences of women and concepts of gender in the ancient world;
  • Evaluate ancient source material and modern interpretations of that material at an advanced level;
  • Formulate arguments, express ideas and respond to the views of staff and peers in both oral and written form at an advanced level;
  • Appreciate historiographical theories and how historical information (in the broadest sense) may be extracted from ancient texts and archaeological remains.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

UNIT REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS

Classes

For lecture times, please consult the MQ Timetable website: <http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au>. This website will display up-to-date information on your classes. For fully online/virtual discussion activity, please consult the AHIS3201 iLearn website (which is accessible one week prior to commencement of teaching session).

Lectures: There are two or three lectures a week for all weeks of the session. The importance of regular listening to lectures is that we signal the topics that we deem significant. It is expected that you audit at least 20 lectures over the session. We shall expect you to discuss these topics in the historiographical section of the examination.

Discussion Boards: There is an online discussion board for most weeks of the session in which it is expected that students will participate actively.

Each student will have undertaken the reading for each week’s seminar and will contribute to the best of her or his ability to the discussion. A unit like this, drawing on such a broad range of material and different perspectives, works best when everyone brings their thoughts to the table. Participation in online discussions is considered a vital and rewarding part of the unit.

Required and Recommended Texts

The areas covered in this unit are too broad for a single set text. Students will, however, be asked to consult a Book of Readings which will be used for specific tutorials, in lectures and in assessment preparation. It will be made available electronically on the iLearn site.

In this course emphasis is placed upon the direct examination of the ancient sources and evidence. Students are expected to base all their work on a personal examination of these sources. It will not be sufficient simply to read modern studies on any topic, however sound and highly recommended these are: it will be essential to look first at the ancient sources on which all modern studies are necessarily based. 

The work which marked a major change in the academic landscape, Sarah B. Pomeroy's Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves. Women in Classical Antiquity (New York, Schocken Books, 1975) treats many of the periods covered by this unit. An electronic copy of Pomeroy is available via Leganto in the Macquarie University Library.

Highly recommended for purchase (and a book which most students interested in this subject will want to have in their own libraries) is Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant's Women's Life in Greece and Rome: a sourcebook in translation (any edition).

The literature is now immense, and growing annually. Students can pick their own ways through the bibliographies which will open up with the reading of each new work. Every time I taught this course, I used to issue a new bibliography, and it was out of date before the session finished. I shall now direct you to certain readings as the session unfolds. Overall, I point you to the Diotima website: <https://diotima-doctafemina.org/> which contains a wealth of bibliographical material. There you will find far more than you hoped for(!)—and we shall all start sharing exciting new finds.

Other internet sites are discussed by John Younger 'Gender and Sexuality on the Internet' in Maria Wyke (ed.), Gender and the Body in the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford 1998) 209–213. Please share with us any useful sites found.

Other general coverages will be found in Eva Cantarella's Pandora's Daughters. The Roles and Status of Women in Greek and Roman Antiquity (Baltimore & London 1987) and Bisexuality in the Ancient World (1988, Eng. trans. Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin, New Haven 1992). There is also a general survey of the subject in Gillian Clark's Women in the Ancient World (Greece & Rome. New Surveys in the Classics 21 (Oxford 1989). See also Susan Treggiari, Women of the Ancient World vol. 1 (London 2007); Brook Holmes, Gender. Antiquity and its Legacy (London 2012); Sharon L. James and Sheila Dillon (eds), A Companion to Women in the Ancient World (Chichester, West Sussex 2012); Janet H. Tulloch (ed.), A Cultural History of Women in Antiquity(London  2013); Thomas K. Hubbard (ed.), A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities (Chichester, West Sussex 2014); Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz and James Robson (eds), Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World. Rewriting Antiquity (London & New York  2015); and S.L. Budin and J. MacIntosh Turfa (eds), Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World (London 2016).

Those of you interested in what survives of women's own writings from antiquity (all too little) might buy a copy of Macquarie's own Ian Plant, Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome (London 2004). 

Technology Used and Required

The unit has an iLearn page which can be accessed at: <https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/>. PC and internet access are therefore required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement. You will also receive training in the use of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of digital tools (in particular, Adobe Audition and Portfolio). Please consult teaching staff for any further, more specific requirements.

Unit Schedule

Week 1

Lecture 1: Introductory Lecture I (Prof. Peter Keegan)

Lecture 2: Introductory Lecture IIAncient & Modern Disjunctions (Assoc. Prof. Lea Beness and Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)

Lecture 3: Some Modern Women on the Ancient World: Pioneering Women of Ancient World Studies(Assoc. Prof. Lea Beness)

Tutorial: THERE ARE NO TUTORIALS THIS WEEK. Please take this opportunity to read the Unit Guide and explore the iLearn site. Perhaps listen to a podcast or three!

 

Week 2

Lecture 1: Women in the Ancient Near East (Assoc. Prof. Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides)

Lecture 2: Her-story versus His-story: New Insights into Early Dynastic Egyptian Women (Ms Sue Kelly)

Lecture 3: Egyptian Child Burials (Assoc. Prof. Ronika Power)

Tutorial: Introductory (no preparation required)   

 

Week 3

Lecture 1: The Family in Ancient Egypt I (Prof. Naguib Kanawati)

Lecture 2: The Family in Ancient Egypt II (Prof. Naguib Kanawati)

Tutorial: The Maxims (Instructions) of Ptahhotep

 

Week 4

Lecture 1: The Construction of Gender in Ancient Egyptian Visual Culture: Context, Principles and Decorum (Dr Alex Woods)

Lecture 2: Case Studies in Interpretation: Re-assessing the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep at Saqqara and the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari (Dr Alex Woods)

Tutorial: Women in Herodotus and Thucydides

 

Week 5

Lecture 1: Women and Gender in the Aegean Bronze Age (Dr Susan Lupack)

Lecture 2: Women in the ‘Homeric’ and Archaic Greek Worlds: The Worlds of ‘Homer’, Hesiod, Semonides and Sappho (Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)

Tutorial: Euripides Medea

 

Week 6

Lecture 1: Women in Homer (Ms Elizabeth Stockdale)

Lecture 2: Amazons (Assoc. Prof. Ian Plant)

Tutorial: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata

 

Week 7

Lecture 1: Images of Athenian Women and the Evidence I (Assoc. Prof. Lea Beness)

Lecture 2: Images of Athenian Women and the Evidence II (Assoc. Prof. Lea Beness)

Tutorial: Xenophon and Attic Oratory

 

Week 8

Lecture 1: Greek Sexuality I (Assoc. Prof.  Ian Plant)

Lecture 2: Greek Sexuality II (Assoc. Prof. Ian Plant)

Tutorial: Sources on Roman Sexuality

 

Week 9

Lecture 1: Women in the Hellenistic Period (Assoc. Prof. Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides)

Lecture 2: The Roman familia (Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)­

Tutorial: Ovid's Art of Love

 

Week 10

Lecture 1: Roman Women (Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)

Lecture 2: Women in Roman Politics (Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)

Lecture 3: Representations of Roman Female Head-Covering Practices (Dr Liz Smith)

Tutorial: NO TUTORIALS THIS WEEK AS THE ESSAY IS DUE

 

Week 11

Lecture 1: Cleopatra and Women in the Augustan Age (Assoc. Prof. Tom Hillard)

Lecture 2: Imperial Women in the Principate (Livia to the Tetrarchy) (Dr Caillan Davenport)

Tutorial: Sulpicia

 

Week 12

Lecture 1: Women in the Roman Empire: Boudicca (Prof. Peter Keegan)

Lecture 2: Women & Early Christianity I (Dr Chris Forbes)

Tutorial: Juvenal's Satire 6

 

Week 13

Lecture 1: Women & Early Christianity II (Dr Chris Forbes)

Lecture 2: Byzantine Empresses (Dr Meaghan McEvoy)

Tutorial: Jerome

 

*It is suggested that students audit at least 20 lectures of their choice over the course of the session.

**Please note that this schedule may be altered according to the availability of guest speakers.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Macquarie University offers a range of Student Support Services including:

Student Enquiries

Got a question? Ask us via AskMQ, or contact Service Connect.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Assessment Tasks 2 and 3

Assessment Task 2: A podcast replaces the previous essay task.

Assessment Task 3: A blog post replaces the previous formal examination.